Author Topic: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip  (Read 46821 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 05:08:27 pm by justinguitar »
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

barderc

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 04:12:35 pm »
While getting to grips with the other 5th string barre chords, A-major is a nightmare - definitely the hardest chord for me so far.  Unless I go incredibly slowly, either my 3rd finger ends up touching and slightly muting the 5th A string, or I don't put enough pressure on the first E string and it half rings rather than being muted (I can't bend my third finger knuckle back enough to clear it and allow it to ring cleanly) or I put on too much pressure (rather than just enough to mute it) and end up making the first E string ring out.

Does anyone have any tips other than to keep at it?

Many thanks in advance.

Offline close2u

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 07:19:17 am »
most of the time you don't need to worry about playing / hearing the (thin) e string with this shape barre chord ... of course keep practicing though ... you could try playing the barre part of the chord with 3rd finger, 4th finger or fingers 2,3,4 together

inthewind

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:41:52 pm »
I actually didn't know I was doing this until this lesson and took a close look at my A shape but ...
My pinky sits on the E string to mute it.  It snugs right up next to my ring finger and kind of sits on the corner of the fretboard and just touches the E.  If I think about it I can't do it so I don't know if this will work for you or not but you can give it a try.

EggiEggson

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 08:18:05 pm »
Hello guys (my first reply to this outstanding course :) )

In advance: Sorry for my English.

I tried really hard to handle the chord with my 1st and 3rd finger, it absolutely didn´t work. But I figured out that it is much easier for me to press the B/G/D strings with my pinkie finger - as a side effect, the high E string gets muted automatically, I didn´t have to train much on that.

What do you think? Could this way be a disadvantage in future? Is it preferrable for other people who have the same problems and maybe also figure out they get better/faster results using the small finger?

Offline freigeist

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 12:13:54 am »
Hi EggiEggson,

at first: almost everyone has problems with the A shape bar chords at the beginning ;)

Some great guitarists play it that (pinky) way (e.g. clapton sometimes). From time to time I have seen Justin playing it that way too.
So I think it´s not a problem, but I prefer the "proper" way. It´s hard to learn...really....for almost everyone.
The standard fingerings are not chosen randomly. They have established themselves over the centuries because they are in most cases the best (or let´s say easiest way) to play.

The whole web is full of beginners who say something like "I can´t do this", "I´m physically not able to do it", "My fingers are too short"...and so on.
In most cases, people simply give up too soon. Yeah it´s easier to say that you can´t do it than practicing for hours and hours.
Do not get me wrong, I don´t want to say that your problem is not enough practice. I only wan´t you to think about it. :)
I personally use only "my way" if I have tried it for month the "proper" way.

Not a good example for "proper" technique but for long work ;)
The "hendrix style" e shape with thumb.....
It tooks me 100+ hours...but after all it was possible and I´m now able to play hendrix tunes his way.
I think it was worth the work.
Yes i know a bad example because it´s not a proper technique for e shape bar chords ;).
But I learnd the "right" one first so I can play both. That´s the way you should think. First the "proper" way, then alternative techniques.
You can only judge which technique is better for you if you master both.

But thats only my personal opinion. It´s your decision :)
There are a lot of great guitarists with own techniques...like knopfler, hendrix and so on..... ;)
But I think I'm not as awesome as these guys.....so I prefer the "normal" way ;)


Gazrovers

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 06:09:26 pm »
I really struggle with playing Bb and B chords :( it feels like i have to really have to bend my wrist

Offline close2u

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 07:18:14 am »
I really struggle with playing Bb and B chords :( it feels like i have to really have to bend my wrist
you are not alone ... when I was still a youngster learning songs on my acoustic I used (I still have) a Bob Dylan book .. old and battered now ... and a 100 Songs for Buskers book .... and used to curse that so many of the songs were in keys that needed barre chords at frets 1 and 2 ...

it will come, gotta practice and build strength plus technique
 :)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 08:47:06 pm by close2u »

Diesel McGunner

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 07:05:37 pm »
Should I work on muting the 1st string, it is technically supposed to be ringing out which it does but everyone else seems to mute it?

I'm not sure exactly what's going on here. Barre chords were supposed to be the hardest thing to learn, especially as I have tiny hands, but I learnt the E shape in about a minute, it just happened. Then the A shape is supposed to be really hard but I got that pretty much straight away too, except for that all of the notes ring out, as though I'm playing with all four fingers but I'm using just 1 and 3. I guess I'm kind of lucky to have just the right shape hands or whatever and barre chords are quite easy for me.

But anyway, should I be trying to play muting the highest note? When I just naturally play an A shape barre it comes out as all five strings quite clearly, which is technically correct but still if most people play it muting the 1st it will sound different.

Les Mikel

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 10:22:36 pm »
Hey,

I just can't play a a shape barre on the lower part on the neck. They really hurt and I just cant get the note ring out clean. I try to play this chord for over a few months now. I recently tried to play the chord with my pinky for the barre and not my 3rd finger. That works out very well. I get the notes clean and I can change to it pretty fast.

Is this a proper technique or should I learn the barre with my 3rd finger?

Offline knighty 1

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 12:20:10 pm »

  i've been practising my A shape barre chord  and its coming along fine thankfully.
 My queary is , since learning my E shape barres ive got used to using my middle finger for added pressure as justin shows in the E shape 7 and minor 7th. i  now do this on my A shapes is this ok ,it works and i can get to other chords quicker than having my middle and pinky under the fret board :)

Offline mouser9169

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 01:59:45 pm »
@ knighty 1

I believe in having as many options open to you as possible.

The E7 and Emin7 grips he shows allow you to use your middle finger for extra pressure. However, there are other common grips for those chords (that I believe I've seen Justin use) that don't allow you to do that, as they require all three fingers. The A shape is a little different in that there really isn't a whole lot else you can do with that middle finger even if you wanted to (As I write this, I think of a chord shape that would...).

I'll admit I use an extra finger to "reinforce" a barre at times (min 6 at some frets comes to mind). But I'm trying to strengthen my fingers so I don't have to. So I guess I'm saying do what you have to do to make the chords sound good and your changes clean while you're learning. Then try to remove as many "crutches" as you can (we probably all have some that we're stuck with).

Then again, I've also spent hours practicing to be able to get the thin E string to ring out when playing a Fender (for those who don't know, Gibson and Fender guitar necks have slightly different widths and length's. A Fender's neck is narrower) by angling my finger so it points a bit down toward the bridge while keeping a good firm grip on all the strings.  I guess I'm just anal that way.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 08:01:47 am by close2u »
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 04:40:56 pm »
Quote
it works and i can get to other chords quicker than having my middle and pinky under the fret board

If you are putting fingers "under" the fretboard, you are doing something wrong ( that likely has to do with arm/wrist angle ).

Gone

77sahar77

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 03:14:54 pm »
I want to know if muting the thin E string is necesary because when I playing the A shape barre chords I succeed to bend my ring finger enough to unmute the string but Justin recommend to mute this string.
So what is the right thing to do?

Offline mouser9169

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2011, 05:08:09 pm »
The note E is part of the A chord, so it isn't "wrong" to let it ring out. If it sounds good in what you're playing, let it ring. If it doesn't, mute it. Simplistic answer I know, but there you go.

Since the highest notes determine the melody, being able to keep it unmuted will help you if you go on to play 'melodic' chord progressions later on.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 08:01:12 am by close2u »
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Aeonstorm

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2011, 10:10:45 am »
i played in front of a mirror after watching justin talk about wrist angle, and found that I tend to use the locked-in angle which he says not to. However, it doesn't hurt anymore as I've practiced it this way for ages. I realized that the reason I do this is because i point my thumb upwards. In the video, justin says that you can point your thumb whichever way feels more comfortable, but I realized that because my thumb is pointing straight up, my whole hand has to be lower for my thumb to be placed over the middle of the neck. In contrast, if you have it at 45 degrees like justin, it is naturally lower and thus u can have ur hand higher. Does this mean I should switch over to the 45 degree thumb placement? I find it quite awkward as I play all my chords with thumb straight up, and all my scales as well, and it would require a lot of relearning to get it right.

foggy

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2011, 07:46:34 am »
hi Justin.. when playing the A shape barre chord i find it alot easier when i put my pinkie under the neck, ( only the pinkie mind,the middle finger stays where it should) i can get ALOT more pressure on the strings and it sounds great,however if i raise my pinky like you said just abouve the strings i can hardly get enough pressure on the strings to ring out clearly! my question is ....is this ok? thanks for your time and advice!  Foggy.

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2011, 08:03:10 am »
I'm not Justin, bot for what it's worth: that's a very bad idea for several reasons. First, it makes you very slow. If you use your pinky like that, changing to the next (non A-shape barre) chord will be very difficult. There's way too much movement involved.

Secondly, the A-shape barre chord (major shape) played with fingers 1 and 3 requires you to tilt the ring finger (like J showed) so that you either mute the 1st string or you don't touch it (barring it with your index finger). The latter is pretty tricky, though. Muting the 1st string with your ring finger becomes far more difficult with your pinky tucked away underneath since it's pulling the ring finger in the opposite direction.

The answer really is practice (as usual). This isn't just about the right technique, it's about a rather unusual kind of strength and flexibility. It might take quite a while, so keep on practicing.

However, there is an alternative way to play this chord: index finger as usual and the pinky for the barre with the ring finger on top of it for support. If your pinky is the right size in relation to your guitar neck, this can work very well. I seem to remember J is demonstrating this in the Layla unplugged videos, but I'm not entirely sure.

saichoo

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2012, 12:00:00 pm »
Man, this one is doing me nuts in.  :P

I can do it on the electric but can't quite do it on the acoustic, even though the acoustic has pretty good action. Everything plays except for the 3rd string, which is almost there but chokes slightly. Methinks I have to go through the lesson again, unless someone knows something I don't.  ;D

wmike1503

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2012, 04:50:07 pm »
Hi all,

Enjoying the site.

55 years old - average sized hands.  Trying to follow the clear lesson on the E barre.  Physically impossible, at least for me.  When I have the barre on (45 degree roll from the fret) - there is no way to get to the actual strings required.

Just me,  I guess.  Tried practicing this - just, physically cannot get my fingers in the right position.

Ho hum - no barre chords for me, I think.  :)

Cheers,

Mike

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2012, 05:04:50 pm »

Welcome to the forum!

And...

Oh dear, giving up already? What a shame...  :)

How about this: forget the 45° thing for now, put your fingers 2-4 in place, then put the barre on, and see how that feels. Barre chords have a lot to do with hand and wrist position - get that part wrong, and they just won't work. Try to emulate Justin's position.

Also remember: with e.g. an Emaj shaped barre chord, the barre only has to cover strings 1,2 and 6 (for now, chord variations come a little later).

Btw: you wrote E shape barre chord, but you posted under A shape. Which one is it?

Offline mmmbert

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2012, 01:11:25 am »
I have been working more on my barres and am having the normal issues in general, but getting better. But I have something I would like to get some opinions on.

I have relatively long fingers plus the end joints bend backwards some. When playing a A shape barre, I struggle getting the third finger in just the right position. If I fret the strings where the tip is just below the fifth string, then I tend to fret the first string as well. When I attempt to raise the lower end enough to not fret but mute the first string (or even let it ring), the backward bend makes it a little difficult to position just right. I can get it, but it seems that I am usually applying more pressure than seems necessary or something.

Anyway, these are both overcome-able, but in trying to find the best way for me to to it, I have found this seems to work:     Since I only am using the index finger to fret the fifth string, I have found that if I position my hand where the two fingers are farther from the fret at the bottom than the tips, at maybe a 40 degree angle, my third finger frets the D-B strings well and almost automatically mutes the first string,

Does anyone see any inherent problem in doing it this way only on the A Major shape?  The others I use the first finger normally, so I a, only asking specifically about the A Major.

Offline mmmbert

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2012, 01:57:28 am »
Also, I am mainly talking about Bb-C#, the lower frets. The F at the 8th fret and above for some reason give me less trouble doing it with my fingers perpendicular across the fretboard, which is good because there is not room to angle them anyway. :)


kentl

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2012, 03:01:08 am »
Also, I am mainly talking about Bb-C#, the lower frets. The F at the 8th fret and above for some reason give me less trouble doing it with my fingers perpendicular across the fretboard, which is good because there is not room to angle them anyway. :)
this is because the guitar is "tighter" closer to the neck and so the strings are harder to press down, the higher you go the less work you have to do to get it to sound right.

fint72

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Re: IM-131 • A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2013, 03:20:16 pm »
I thought the F chord was hard and then this!

Thing is I can almost get it, in fact I can get it but my hand is too straight. When I bend the knuckle as recommended by Justin I just cannot get enough strength to hold the strings down for any length of time. The effort of keeping my pinkie above the fret board and stretching my index finger to mute the lower E causes my knuckle to straighten out. It's so frustrating!

Is it just a matter of persisting until my hand is strong enough?

 

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